Despite the competitive atmosphere, it was difficult to predict if JL Bourg, who were decidedly outplayed on Monday, could provide any substantial challenge to the Roca Team in the upcoming series. There's no doubt that the Gaston-Médecin venue is in full play-off mode, with the local crowd making their presence felt. Even when the Roca Team held a 20-point lead in the third quarter, the referees felt the heat from the passionate audience, and US pivot Amidah Brimah was met with a chorus of boos upon being fouled out.
The Roca Team, based in Monaco, continues to excite hearts, even with a less-than-full house and the conspicuous absence of Phoenix Suns star Kevin Durant from his VIP seat. However, the team maintained composure, dominating in all areas of the game in their first semi-final match. Far from their tense quarter-final against SIG, Monaco played a commanding game, showing superiority in every sector.
Even without their two interior players, Donta Hall and Chima Moneke (due to the quota of six foreign players), Monaco managed without too much trouble. JL Bourg lacks a strong presence in the paint, while Donatas Motiejunas immediately made his mark with accurate hooks near the hoop (9 out of 10 shots).
The Roca Team led 62-39 before a slight comeback from JL Bourg in the 4th quarter (87-77). This brief rally serves as a timely reminder before the 2nd round tomorrow evening, which Frédéric Fauthoux's men will undoubtedly approach with increased aggression.